Jim Hemby of Lake Anna Striper Guide Service provided the following Fishing
Report for May 2012. Visit Jim at www.jimhemby.com or call 540-967-3313.
STRIPERS: Striper fishing has been excellent this year and certainly will only get
better in the month of May. My clients have been catching nice limits of fish topped
off with Craig Rasmusson’s 21 pound Citation Striper which he caught on a
Gizzard Shad. Fresh live bait has been the key to success with most artificial
fisherman catching primarily smaller fish. May is a transition month for the
Stripers, the fish will be converting from feeding in the upper water column early in
the month and in low light conditions of the day to feeding over deeper 25 to 30
foot flats later in the month as the water temperature rises into the 70‘s. Fish are
still scattered all over the lake and we have been having our best success fishing
where there is little fishing pressure away from boat traffic. We are pulling planner
boards rigged with the largest Gizzard shad we can find over flats, points and
humps in water less than 20 feet. When a big Stripers blows a 12 inch Gizzard out
of the water you better be ready to wrestle a hog to the boat. As the water warms to
above 75* the fish will convert to smaller baits and also retreat to deeper flats
where they will school in large numbers. We will use down-lines and put them in
the exact depth we see the schools on our Lowrance to catch up to 40 fish a day.
May is a good month to catch fish on top water on lures like Pencil Poppers,
Redfins , Spooks and chuggars. Hit main lake points early and late in the day for
explosive strikes. Trollers will start to catch more fish as the water warms later in
the month. Swim baits will also catch Stripers this month when fished nearby
schools of bait. To view our catches check out my journal at www.JimHemby.com .
BASS: Bass fishing has also been off the charts this year with some of the largest
stringers of Bass being weighed in at tournaments [Almost 28 pounds for 5 fish!].
The warmer than normal winter has been responsible for the excellent fishing this
year and consequently early spawns. Spawn and post spawn patterns will work
early in the month before the Bass retreat to deeper waters later in the month.
Better fishing will be early in May and slow down as the month progresses. It is
hard to beat top water action this month using your favorite top water lures. Early
in the month sight fishing will still be very good in the clear water. Grass beds at
the Splits and up lake in the North Anna have been producing some great catches.
CRAPPIE: Crappie have spawned and are headed for deeper waters [10 to 20
feet]. Rock ledges, brush piles and bridge pilings will hold catchable fish. Crappie
may not be as easy to catch when they were shallow but once you locate them
they will be schooled in larger numbers. Traditional small jigs tipped with small
tubes and grubs long with small and medium minnows work well. The back of
Christopher Run is holding some nice slabs.
CATFISH: Catfish have feeding all over the lake as well and are being caught at
depths ranging from 8 to 20 feet deep, primarily on live bait. A couple fish in
excess of 30 pounds have already been caught on Shad. The third Dike area is a
great place to catch a HUGE Kitty this month.
CARP: The Carp are rolling in all the grass beds now and bow hunters are
enjoying keeping their skills sharp shooting the big fish. Up lake in both arms of
the lake and basically any larger grass beds are productive. If we get some good
rains and the lake rises fishing will just get better.
Vlly good throughout the year. In the summer months,
bass congregate at predictable locations near structure. These areas may be
fished slowly and methodically. Deep diving crankbaits and Carolina and Texas
rigged plastics work well. During the spring and fall, it is important to cover more
water. The lake is heavily developed. Flipping and skipping soft plastics around
boat docks is always a good bet – especially for newcomers to the lake – and the
water willow beds in the mid-lake region and North Anna arms are worth a try with
spinnerbaits and weightless plastics. Uplake (above the “Splits” area where the
North Anna and Pamunkey arms come together) typically has stained water while
the water becomes increasingly clear moving downlake. The uplake region has
the highest density of bass and crappie.
Striped Bass: Several hundred thousand fingerling striped bass are stocked each
year. The striper fishing continues to improve and attract more anglers. In the
spring and fall, the stripers move uplake where they may be targeted by casting
swim baits (Sassy Shad, Shad Assassin, Storm Lures). In the summer months,
the fish are most commonly targeted in the mid-lake region using live bait and
trolling deep-diving crankbaits (Cordell Redfins and Norman DD-22s). Live bait
may be caught using a cast net. An easier choice is purchasing jumbo minnows
sold by the major marinas on the lake. Throughout the year, low light conditions
(dawn, dusk, overcast days) are the best times to fish.